Monday, June 21, 2010

Nebraskaland Days

I arrived in North Platte on Saturday morning for the Nebraskaland days opening ceremonies, where I sang the National Anthem. Sunday was a relaxing day and I was able to get some paperwork done with my directors and plan out the rest of the week. These first few days were a little chilly and rainy but the rest of the week was perfect weather!

Monday: I signed lots of autographs and took pictures with the kids at the Kid's Parade before participating in it with some of the Little Sisters from this year's pageant. Afterward, I had an interview on KNOP TV and then went to family night with the Engel's.

Tuesday: The Kid's Fun Festival was very well attended so that meant more autographs and pictures! It was so much fun to see all these little children who were so excited to meet me and so humbling to see how full of admiration they were. My camera died that afternoon, as I forgot to bring the charger for it (of course!) so I apologize for not having pictures from the rest of the week. The Miss Rodeo Nebraska Pageant was held that evening and I sang the National Anthem and modeled my evening gown during the show. It was so interesting to see how their pageant works and I had a great time chatting with the contestants, the current Miss Rodeo Nebraska, and even Miss Rodeo America!

Wednesday: I had the opportunity to meet the sailors from the USS Nebraska submarine as we had dinner with them before going to the opening night of the Buffalo Bill Rodeo. The Rodeo Pageant royalty was crowned and I know the new titleholders will do a fantastic job!

Thursday: Jay and Amy Engel and I took the day to make a trip to Lincoln where we met with Dan Macke from The Strand salon. I got it colored a bit lighter and set up some more appointments as he will be taking care of my hair all throughout this year. We also got to chat with Brittany Jeffers over lunch, and did a little shopping before returning to North Platte.

Friday: The Antique Car Show and Parade were both a ton of fun and very interesting! There were approximately 140 cars and I got to ride in the parade and throw candy with my little sister from the pageant, Morgan Baker. I then went to Lunch With the Wild Bunch, where the Rodeo Queens and I helped show the cakes from the All-Male Cake Bake that were being auctioned off. The Governor's Art Show was in the evening, and we had a great time visiting with the various artists and admiring their amazing work.

Saturday: The Eagles Pork Breakfast was held in the morning, so I got to have a great breakfast before the big parade. Nebraska's Outstanding Teen, Staci Craighead and I both rode in cars in the parade, which was so well attended I ran out of candy less than halfway through! It was a great way to finish the week, as everyone was so excited to see us, and I was very encouraged by the amount of support everyone showed for us. After the parade I packed up and headed back home... a week of exciting and amazing experiences behind me, but many more to come!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Something serious and something fun

Just as in every area of life, there will be both sides to this job: the serious and the fun. Inevitably, criticism comes along with enhanced publicity and I am willing and waiting to respond to these things. So I just wanted to share a message I recently recieved from someone I did not know, and whose name I will not share, but am sharing the message and my response because I think it was a very relevant concern that many other people might have as well. Although I did not nearly cover everything that is to be said on the subject, I responded with what I believe to be the essentials of my opinion on the issue.

This is what the message said:
"Do you really think the best way to prevent eating disorders is by promoting a program in which old men judge teenaged girls on their "fitness" in bikinis and high heels? good morals! Guess christianity and psychiatry both took a pass on this one. Your dad must be so proud!!!"

Now, not quite understanding the meaning of the dad comment, I chose to ignore that closing remark and address the more important issue like this:
"Absolutely! The pageant circuit is an extremely important area to address this in because just like in modeling, gymnastics, dance, and many other sports, the participants are often at a much higher risk to develop an eating disorder. This does not mean, however, that I will condemn these things, but rather work to show that you can be healthy and fit and succeed in these areas. The physical fitness portion of the competition has helped me very much with staying fit and although many contestants go about it in an unhealthy way, what better way to be an example to them than as a fellow contestant at Miss America? Despite Miss USA's focus on the swimsuit category, the Miss America system puts a small percentage of the score in this category and instead focuses on talent and interview. The four points of the Miss America crown stand for service, style, scholarship, and success. Obviously this says nothing about weight or size, and in the swim suit category the judges look for confidence, not body type. I strongly believe this is exactly where God wants me to be, to not only speak out about my convictinos, but more importantly to lead by example, and through my actions show others at the Miss America pageant and everywhere I go this year that being healthy is more important than what size dress you wear or the number on the scale. Taking care of yourself and not falling to extremes is the most essential point when it comes to eating disorders, and all of this stems from a healthy body image and strong self-confidence each person should develop. For me, this came from my participation in pageants; for others it will be something very different; each person should find what works to promote their self-esteem. Both the Miss America organization and eating disorders have had a significant impact on my life, and that is why I am passionate about both. I do not find this incongruent with the Bible or my beliefs; on the contrary, my faith has been greatly strengthened through this. I understand that each person is different however, so if it is against a person's conscience to compete in pageants, I would never advocate that. My greatest wish is to halt the destructive force of eating disorders and prevent them from starting in our young people through education and motivation. For the rest of my life I will be dedicating my time and efforts to this cause and to all of the people struggling with these fatal diseases. In any way I can, I will be serving as a healthy role model, championing self-confidence and acceptance."

That being said, I also wanted to share a little something that made me laugh:
I was at the grocery store the other day when I saw the little 6-year-old girl who lives across the street from me. She waved and then came running over to me saying, "Teresa, Teresa! Did you know you won MISS NEBRASKA?!"
Ah, the funny side of the job! (:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Miss Nebraska 2010!

June 6th, 2010:
...and your new Miss Nebraska 2010 is.... contestant number 2, Teresa Scanlan!

"I'm not going to cry, I'm not going to cry, I'm not going to cry... oh well, I'm crying!"

As Brittany Jeffers pinned my crown on my head and put my new sash on, so many emotions were rushing through me I couldn't even think. That night marked the end of the hard work, months of preparation, and tough competition leading up to the Miss Nebraska pageant, but marked the beginning of the hard work, months of service, and excitement of the coming year.

That night was a blur of pictures and autographs, and I felt so honored and blessed to be surrounded by such supportive and encouraging people. It was also wonderful to have my parents and three sisters there, as well as several friends from "back home." (Scottsbluff and Gering)

The next morning was spent meeting with my directors, business manager, and accountant to talk about the details of my first full-time job! After saying goodbye to my family, I spent the afternoon with the Fagos, my wonderful host family. Monday afternoon I picked up my new car, packed up, and drove home to Gering.

These past few days have been spent organizing and planning in order to prepare for this year. I had to quit my carry-out job at our local grocery store, which I will miss quite a bit, but I know everyone there is very excited for me. I deferred enrollment to Patrick Henry College until the fall of 2011, and deferred the scholarships I received this year as well. Luckily, during orientation Brittany had explained to us the need for a plan, so my parents and I were on the same page about these things.

As the rest of the details fall into place, I am taking it one day at a time, making sure to soak in every exhilarating moment as your Miss Nebraska 2010.